Thursday, May 28, 2020

Why Science Is An Annoying Bitch

From Comments:
Would it be fair to suggest that, as lay persons, we do not know shit about the CV-19? Would it be further advisable, considering the lack of consensus among the researchers, to err on the side of caution? Is there definitive, rock solid information upon which we can make informed decisions other than the suggested cautious approach?

I need someone to tell me what I need to know. I need the certainty. I need succor.... "

Everyone is a layperson at something, in fact, at most things.

The bigger problem is that most people stopped doing science somewhere around high school.
So they forget (if they ever learned) that there's no such thing as "settled science". Nor "scientific consensus".

As Michael Crichton famously said in a lecture I refer to and quote from frequently:
"In science, consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus. There's no such thing as consensus science. If it's consensus, it isn't science. If it's science, it isn't consensus."
It's fair to say that the experts don't know shit about COVID-19. If anyone looked at the JAMA Online website on a recent post where I linked to it, one of the papers published was a list of all the things that were known and unknown about Kung Flu, specifically with the purpose of jerking people's chains in the research biz about things that they should be trying to nail down, to the extent possible.

At this point, most of the map of Kung Flu is marked "Here be dragons." Most of what we know is extrapolated or interpolated from other versions of coronavirus, and prior pandemics. Science is a tool for exploring the unknown. It provides clues, and a framework for learning. What it isn't designed to do is provide philosophic certainty and ontological comfort.

Actual honest science is but a framework, just as certainly as a latticework of 2x4s begins a house.

Science is not, nor was ever intended to be, a paneled living room with nice paint and wallpaper, cozy décor, and a comfortable chair next to the fireplace.

This is why people who do science are generally lousy at building houses, and people who actually build houses are lousy at doing science.

And the people who cannot cope with things they don't like, because they don't like them, are usually lousy at both things. Rich people have choices in that, and can order life to conform to their wishes in many instances. Those less financially fortunate have no such options, and end up living in cardboard boxes, because life refuses to bend over and kiss their ass. Those of us between the two extremes pick our battles, and try to ignore the things we cannot change and cannot stand to deal with, if we don't have to do so.

What's kicking most peoples' asses now is that they cannot ignore Kung Flu, and don't want to deal with it, nor will it conform to how they wish the world was. Hence the massive amount of hitherto sensible people who are serially and collectively losing their shit.

They just can't cope, and they're not resilient enough to deal with uncertainty and chaos that seemingly never ends.

The rest of this year, and this crisis, will not go well for them, and their responses thus far bode poorly for their eventual status.

Darwin snickers in the wings.



Dad said...

In these times of trial, I find comfort in the Lord. And beer. Lots of beer.

Dylan J. Thompson said...

People don't understand that science is not engineering. Science is like sailing around the world for the first time, engineering is the cargo ships sailing in well organized shipping lanes. And scientists, real ones, know that they make mistakes; and that initial hypotheses are frequently wrong. That is when the laymen says 'you lied to us', but the scientist thinks:'that was my best guess... it was a guess, how did you miss that part?'

Also, I really like the meme at the top.

Rhea said...

Sometimes I don't think I am resilient enough to deal with it. I keep reminding myself that no one who went through anything in US history wanted to go through it. I can't imagine anyone was real enthusiastic about going through the Great Depression or WWII. They didn't know when anything would end either, they just had to buckle down and endure it.

It helps to remember that. But I wonder what those people told themselves when they were going through it. I wonder if they knew something about endurance that we have forgotten.


watsonrg said...

Gee whiz, and here I thought you were the world's foremost authority.

I'm crushed.

kurt9 said...

Now that the urban unrest has begun (Minneapolis, etc.), I wonder how much this will fan the spread of the Kung-flu.

me said...

Totally off topic (well...almost):
I'm seeing a few reports about how the whole GeorgeFloyd police kneeling on the neck murder was just an act - that no one died, and that the media is pushing this new story because Kung Flu is losing steam. Here's one:

As a medical professional - can you provide insight on this: :

"1. You can tell when the ambulance arrives and the officer gets off the victim there was no pressure being applied.
2. When the ambulance arrives, rather than tend the victim, (the official reports state the ambulance was warned he needed medical attention and was unresponsive,) they did not tend to him immediately on the ground, instead they loaded him onto the gurney without checking a damn thing, pushed him into the ambulance and drove off. There's a HUGE problem with that.

Standard EMT procedure in this case is FIRST to take his pulse and administer CPR if needed RIGHT WHERE HE IS FOUND LAYING especially when (according to the story line) they were notified he was "unresponsive" and needed an ambulance. EMT's do not load people onto the stretcher first, they first get the person stable if possible and then load them. No one at any point, no officer and no EMT ever checked the guy's pulse. That there alone proves it was a crisis act, done by people who were not professionals knowledgeable enough to even fake it good.

3. Since no one checked the guy's pulse, how did the cops know he was not going to wake up in the ambulance and raise hell? I can't begin to describe what a screw up that was, and to top it all off, in ALL CASES, conscious or not, the cops pick people up up and throw them in the back seat. They would not have called an ambulance at all, having never checked his pulse. He'd have been loaded like a side of beef and taken to the station.

4. The appalling "I am so proud" show by the "officer" at the end was obviously done for the sole purpose of angering the public."

I respect your opinion- and won't be offended if you don't reply. But what do you think? fake death sensationalism because kung flu not generating enough chaos?

Best regards,
my blog:

Survivormann99 said...

One study contradicts the next.

As I said before, just because a person wears a lab coat or a set of scrubs doesn't mean that he's not a retard.

People are sick and tired of being fed bullshit studies that last about a week before the next one comes along and contradicts it.

If these retard "experts" were honest, they would simply say, "We don't have an effing clue. Your guess is as good as mine."

That is why people are turning a deaf ear to people like Fauci. They figure that their "guess" is as good as his.

Fauci, Birx, the CDC, and the WHO fall in the same category as local TV weathermen. They can be right about half the time, but they still keep their jobs.

Aesop said...


That's where you're wrong, bucko. ;)

If you learned the ABC's, you were mistaught.
It's the SRABCs: Safety, Rescue, Airway, Breathing, Circulation.
You don't start CPR inside a burning house, and you don't assess your patient at the scene of an imminent riot. You load and GTFO, and do what you have to in the rig, while putting mileage between you and a crowd of restless natives. BTDT - Got The T-shirt.

Aesop said...


I will include and amplify my comments from the thread where this was first referenced.

1) That's not a "study". As it's conspicuously labeled, it's sheer OPINION.
And we all know opinions are like @$$holes (and in this instance, for exactly the same reasons).
In this case, by an over-educated and under-bright pack of bumbling baboons.

2) The authors are clearly axe-grinding jackholes, that's patent horseshit, and the purpose of wearing cloth/surgical masks (which is what 99.999% of people have on) is always to protect others from you, not to protect you from others, and anyone who doesn't know that is not only a jackhole, they're too stupid to be writing papers anywhere.

At their intended purpose, such masks excel, as they have for 150 years or so since they were pioneered for maintaining asepsis in surgery.

3) For bonus points, the Five Blind Mice who authored that codswallop have about 45 years of post-secondary education between them, and yet none of them noticed they contradicted themselves a couple of paragraphs after that corker:

"...fundamental infection-control measures.

Such measures include vigorous screening of all patients coming to a facility for symptoms of Covid-19 and immediately getting them masked and into a room;

IOW, fundamental infection control is masking people to curb the spread of cough and sneeze droplets, the exact method of transmitting Kung Flu against which face masks excel.

Some people tell me I can't fix stupid; I say I can, if you'll let me use a big enough hammer.
Those five degreed jackasses should be horsewhipped until the whites of their bones show, and then be dipped to the neck into a vat of rubbing alcohol. Daily. For a month.

4) Don't get fooled by something just because it's posted by NEJM.
We can't help such poly-degreed dimwit fucktards pulling their scrub pants down and spanking their own asses in public. But we can point and laugh when we catch them at it.
Like in this case.

OvergrownHobbit said...

Best. Corona-chan post. Ever.

Pace my comment on a previous post, I was talking to the husband about why this thing is so infuriating. It's the combo of "The Wuhan Death Gurgle is just the "flu/sniffles" and "This is Death Personified! You have to do SOMETHING anything or WE'LLL ALL DIE".

And the non-stop lying and censorship. I cannot find the prepub discussion (~170 comments from doctors and doctors of pharmacy from around the world) on the initial pre-pub hydroxychlorquine paper. Tamiflu for Coronachan? We'll probably never find out.